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The five elements --ether, air, fire, water, and earth-- are the vesture of God, as well as of man. Use them moderately and with wisdom, with fear and humility. Their characteristics, for which they are sought after, are sound of the sky (representing ether), touch of wind, form of fire, taste of water, and smell of earth. Even these, sounds and others, have to be moderate if they are to confer comfort. Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Speaks VI, Chapter 27, 124.

Sai Ram, Sai Devotees in America!

Swami has designated 1995 as the year of service. In light of this, the American Sai Organization is embarking on a long-range program called The Earth - Help Ever Hurt Never. We hope all will join us wholeheartedly in this venture, with love, devotion, and as much excitement for it as we have.

Why this program? Sathya Sai Baba has said that man is polluting the earth. The five elements are the vesture of God, says Swami, and we must use them moderately, with wisdom, fear, and humility. This program will help us all gain more appreciation for the beauty and splendor of God's Creation. As we become more aware of what Swami says about the Earth, and as we begin to understand the truth about the Earth, right action toward the Earth will follow automatically. Much of this right action concerns Ceiling on Desires, since reducing our desires will reduce the waste that we create. We expect to begin seeing service to the Earth as a spiritual exercise, just as selfless service to God in other people is a spiritual exercise.

To start this program, we have developed a spiritual presentation on serving the Earth. Ask your service coordinator study it, discuss it with whoever is in charge of study circles, and help prepare and conduct this presentation in the Center.

Several times in 1995, we will pass out descriptions of projects of service to the Earth that individuals and Centers might take on. This part of the program will take several years, for there are many different approaches to serving the Earth (not all of them applicable in each Center and for each devotee). We will discuss ways to

  • Reduce our consumption (Ceiling on Desires!),
  • Reuse what we have,
  • Repair what we have, and
  • Recycle what we cannot reuse or repair.

After discussing a newly disseminated project, an individual and a Center can decide whether it applies to them and if so, put it into practice.

We need your help! We need ideas for reducing/reusing/repairing/recycling. We want to know what you think of the program, so that we can change it to fit your needs and expectations. After all, the sole purpose of the Sai Organization is to serve you, the individual devotee, in your march along the spiritual path.

The Earth - Help Ever Hurt Never is not expected to detract from other service projects. Many projects will be of an individual nature. Few will be Center projects that require a large commitment of time each week or month, and these can be accepted by those who want to. It is more our awareness of the Earth, our consciousness, that will change.

This program will be presented to Swami at the 70th Birthday. Please keep this in mind as you present the spiritual programs and carry out service projects; you may want to keep photographic records of your work.

Sai Story

During the 60th birthday celebration, when talking about ceiling on desires, Swami said that many devotees had assuaged their consciences by giving money to charitable and humanitarian organizations, without undertaking the personal discipline of reducing waste in their lives, which was the primary reason for the Ceiling on Desires program.

Sai Story

During the 69th birthday celebration, in public, Swami told the prime minister of India that there were two things he had to do: stop water pollution and stop the killing of animals.

Projects in The Earth - Help Ever Hurt Never